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AB-2417 California Environmental Quality Act: exemption: recycled water pipelines.(2013-2014)

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Amended  IN  Assembly  May 07, 2014
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 28, 2014

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2417


Introduced by Assembly Member Nazarian

February 21, 2014


An act to add and repeal Section 21080.21.5 to of the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2417, as amended, Nazarian. California Environmental Quality Act: exemption: recycled water pipelines.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of, an environmental impact report on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect. CEQA also requires a lead agency to prepare a mitigated negative declaration for a project that may have a significant effect on the environment if revisions in the project would avoid or mitigate that effect and there is no substantial evidence that the project, as revised, would have a significant effect on the environment. CEQA exempts specified pipeline projects from the above requirements.
This bill would, until January 1, 2018, additionally exempt from CEQA a project for the construction and installation of a new pipeline or the maintenance, repair, restoration, reconditioning, relocation, replacement, removal, or demolition of an existing pipeline, not exceeding 8 miles in length, for the distribution of recycled water within a public street, highway, or right-of-way and would require the lead agency to undertake specified activities, including the filing of a notice of exemption for the project with the Office of Planning and Research and the office of the county clerk of each county in which the project is located. The bill would require the lead agency, before determining the applicability of the exemption, to hold a noticed public hearing to consider adopt mitigation measures for potential traffic impacts of the project. Because the lead agency is required to determine whether a project qualifies for that exemption, and undertake specified activities, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require the county clerk to post the notice of exemption within 24 hours of receipt, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) California is experiencing its worst water shortage crisis in modern history and increasing the use of recycled water, a supply that is not dependent on precipitation, is critical to increasing the flexibility of, and expanding, the state’s available water supply.
(b) The pressures on the Bay-Delta ecosystem, climate change, and continuing population growth have increased the challenges to the state in providing clean water needed for a healthy population and economy.
(c) Recycled water has been beneficially used in California for the past century for a variety of purposes, including agriculture, landscape irrigation, seawater barrier, industrial purposes, and groundwater recharge.
(d) Recycled water can significantly stretch California’s potable water supplies and help increase local water supply reliability. Currently, more than 3.5 million acre-feet of recyclable water is discharged annually to the ocean.
(e) The Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife, in March 2012, reported that the level of water supplies that could potentially be derived from recycled water is substantial.
(f) The National Academy of Sciences, in Water Reuse: Potential for Expanding the Nation’s Water Supply Through Reuse of Municipal Wastewater, states that “in the U.S. approximately 12 billion gallons of municipal wastewater effluent is discharged each day to an ocean or estuary and that reusing these coastal discharges could directly augment public supplies by 27 percent.”
(g) The National Academy of Sciences further found that, unlike water that is discharged into a stream and potentially used by another downstream party, water discharged to the ocean is considered “‘irrecoverable’ and thus constitutes ‘new supply.’”
(h) In 2010, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted a recycled water policy for California with a goal of creating an additional 2.5 million acre-feet of recycled water by 2030.
(i) The delivery of shovel-ready recycled water projects can provide immediate drought relief to California’s struggling communities.
(j) Recycled water projects could and should be expedited by providing relief from the time consuming provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code), while still complying with all state and local laws and providing notification to the public and appropriate local and state agencies.

SEC. 2.

 Section 21080.21.5 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21080.21.5.
 (a) This division does not apply to a project of less than eight miles in length within a public street, highway, or right-of-way for the construction and installation of a new recycled water pipeline, or the maintenance, repair, restoration, reconditioning, relocation, replacement, removal, or demolition of an existing recycled water pipeline.
(b) For the purposes of this section, “pipeline” means subsurface pipelines and subsurface or surface accessories or appurtenances to a pipeline, such as mains, traps, vents, cables, conduits, vaults, valves, flanges, manholes, and meters.
(c) For the purposes of construction and installation of a new recycled water pipeline, or the maintenance, repair, restoration, reconditioning, relocation, replacement, removal, or demolition of an existing recycled water pipeline, a project described in subdivision (a), the lead agency shall do all of the following:
(1) Before determining the applicability of this section to a project, hold a noticed public hearing to consider and adopt mitigation measures for potential traffic impacts of the project.

(1)

(2) File a notice of exemption of the project from this division with the Office of Planning and Research and in the office of the county clerk of each county in which the project is located within 20 days of the approval of the project. The county clerk shall post the notice within 24 hours of receipt.

(2)

(3) Ensure that the underlying overlaying property owner has given permission to access the property, in the case of a right-of-way over private property, if access is not granted in the express terms of the right-of-way.

(3)

(4) Ensure the restoration of the public street, highway, or right-of-way to a condition consistent with all applicable local laws or regulations, or a negotiated agreement.
(d) The project applicant shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 60301) of Division 4 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations.
(e) This section does not apply to any of the following:
(1) A project that is a part of a larger project for the construction and installation of a new recycled water pipeline, or the maintenance, repair, restoration, reconditioning, relocation, replacement, removal, or demolition of an existing recycled water pipeline, that exceeds the length limitation set forth in subdivision (a).
(2) A project that is adjacent to another project for which a claim of exemption pursuant to this section has been made.
(3) A project that is located in a resource area, such as a park, open space, protected habitat areas, or lands subject to a conservation easement.
(f) A project for which an excavation activity that is more than one-half mile in length at any one time will be undertaken.
(g) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2018, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.